How do I get my child to be better behaved?
That’s always the question. The one that every parent wants to know.
We give discipline, punishment, sticker charts. We tell them “no”, and we do everything in all those parenting books, but our kids still don’t behave the right way.
Often times we forget the most important part of raising our kids.
We forget to…
Praise What You Want to Raise
Take a minute and think.
When’s the last time you told your child that their behavior was good? When did you tell them that you appreciated their help or the way they handled something?
When was the last time you noticed the good that they do?
Often times, we focus on the bad, the behaviors that we don’t want to see and fail to point out the good. We keep our eyes out for the times they misbehave and ignore the times that they do great things!
Noticing the good can be so important though, I’d say it’s even more important than disciplining the bad.
1. Children live up to the expectations that are set for them.
Children are like little mirrors. What you say about them gets reflected right back to them and becomes how they see themselves.
When we focus on the good, our kids will start to take ownership of the good things they do and it will become part of how they see themselves.
A child that is told “thank you so much for helping me, I really appreciate that” will start looking for ways to help more, because he’s a “good at helping”.
2. Children Want To Please Their Parents.
Children innately want to please their parents and caregivers. So when we tell them that we like what they do, then they will start doing those things more. It’s that simple.
Children who are constantly told what they are doing wrong can easily feel defeated and start acting as though nothing they do is right, so why even try?
Over time they just stop trying to do good, because they think it’s not going to be seen or matter to anyone anyway. This is a condition called learned helplessness.
3. It Builds A Strong Connection Between Parent and Child
Anytime a parent focuses on the good, it contributes to the child’s attachment tank and helps that child feel loved and worthy.
When a child feels loved and worthy, they want to do more good things.
And we all want that, right?
A few tips on praising
1. Praise the behavior, not the child.
Focus on the specific behavior you like to see in your child. “I like how you shared your snack with your friends” vs. “you’re such a good boy”.
This lets the child know of the specific behavior that you liked, and they are likely to do that behavior again.
2. Take the time to make sure that they are listening to you.
Don’t just flippantly tell them thank you, take the time to get their attention and tell them that what they did was awesome.
This helps build that relationship and lets your child know that you really mean what you are saying to them.
Often times, I follow it up with a hug.
3. If you struggle with remembering to praise, get a visual reminder
Get some rubber bands or stackable rings to help you remember to notice the good that your child does. These posts explain how those can come in handy. Seriously, it’s brilliant!
Remember it’s all about praising what you want to raise!
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